The Unfolding of Sacred Potential (Part One – Revised and Expanded)

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Mick Turner

 Somewhere right this minute someone you don’t yet know needs you. Someone needs exactly what you are equipped to offer. Just as God has organized all of creation with a finely-tuned balance that is so incredible that it is beyond comprehension, He has also organized the great dance of spiritual life in such a way that we each have a part that only we can contribute. If we don’t realize our potential and live out our deepest dreams, we rob the world of something of immense value. We rob the world of the optimal version of who we are and when we do that, everyone loses and the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Be careful that you don’t take your talent to your grave. Leave your legacy, your gift here so that others can prosper from the simple fact that you lived and cared enough to live rightly.

It is highly important that you also realize that your dreams and your God-given potential are intimately related. God gave you your dream and He also blessed you with what you need to make that dream a reality right here in this hurting world. This doesn’t mean that manifesting your dream will be a piece of cake. No, most often those things that are truly significant are going to meet with a bit of resistance, from either other people, the world in general, and especially the enemy. Still, God has equipped you and given you authority to overcome and overwhelm all three of these areas of friction.

You potential is like a seed and, until you allow that seed to grow, your dream will remain just that – a dream. God gave you this potential and, with the right environment, that seed potential will grow and develop into something quite magnificent. Dr. Myles Munroe speaks of these issues cogently:

“The entire creation possesses this principle of potential. Everything has the natural instinct to release its ability. The plant and animal kingdoms abound with evidences of this fact. The Creator designed everything with this principle of potential, which can be simplified to the concept of a seed. The biblical document states that God created everything with ‘seed in it according to their kinds’ (Genesis 1:12). In essence, hidden within everything is the potential to fulfill itself and produce much more than we see.”

Over the years I have discovered that far too many otherwise sincere Christians become stalled in their walk of faith because they can’t seem to discern what it is that God wants them to do. Offer a weekend workshop on a topic like “Finding God’s Will for Your Life” and it will more than likely be packed to the rafters. People seem to be desperate to find the work God wants them to do, but for whatever reasons, most of them seem to be stuck. This is a major problem within the church because many otherwise talented and passionate people are suffering from a kind of spiritual paralysis. This issue is more complicated than it seems and may in fact be part of a larger theme. Christian author and researcher Gabe Lyons, in his book The Next Christians, cogently discusses the dilemma facing many of today’s genuine spiritual seekers:

People are longing for connection to a deeper purpose but struggle to find it. Beleaguered by too many options, we flip-flop on everything. Whether selecting a college major, or changing jobs every few years, or relocating from city to city, or trying to find a place to call home, many people are feeling more empty. Their search for significance ends each day at a bar, or alone in their bed, when all they really wanted was to find someone to listen and help them figure life out. They wake up just as alone the next morning, feeling discouraged, no closer to finding the magic answer and weary of living the rat race. On occasion, they spot someone who seems to have it all figured out, and it makes them utterly jealous. Deep down, they want someone else’s story to be their story. They just feel stuck.

This is the story line for many young Americans, and it’s not different for Christians. God created each one of us for a unique purpose, but most people never invest the time and energy to discover it. When they do, many are scared away by the changes a new direction might bring. But sometimes the issue isn’t a lack of courage; it’s a lack of clarity. Amid all the options, we just don’t know how to discern what it is we are supposed to do.

Space does not permit a detailed analysis of this issue and all of its individual and sociological ramifications. What I can say, however, is that the solution is not as difficult as one might think. Quite simply, if you indeed feel stuck regarding the discovery of your spiritual purpose, mission, and calling – if you lack a fundamental clarity on what it is that God has called you to do – get busy and do something!

Scripture is filled with clear descriptions of the kind of things God wants us to do. Our “big picture” mission is to continue Christ’s work of incarnating God’s love and grace in the world and to do whatever we can to further the establishment of his kingdom on earth. My advice to those struggling to discern God’s will is straightforward: find a need and fill it. There is plenty to be done while you are waiting to discover the particular thing the Master has called you to do.

In regards to gaining a degree of clarity regarding your personal mission, that specific calling that was placed in your heart perhaps even before you were born, I have found that the following formula is helpful. Look for that place where your talent and your passion engage one another. God has equipped you to be successful at that which he is calling you to do. It is also likely that you have a strong affinity for those things involved in carrying out that mission. In other words, if you love doing something and you have a definite knack for doing it, start sniffing around the base of that tree. Chances are your calling is close at hand.

It is vital that every person understand that we are responsible for developing the potential stored within us. We must deepen our contact with our divine potential and do all that we can to nurture, feed, and actualize our true mission and purpose. Further, we must recognize that as we move forward in developing our optimal potential, we can never afford to stop. In essence, when we travel the spiritual journey, we are either moving forward or backward. There is truly no place to stand on the spiritual path.

Our journey of discovering and developing our divine potential must begin with a commitment to excellence – an agreement with our Creator that we will walk in cooperation with the Spirit to become the best version of ourselves.

 Necessarily, this commitment will involve personal challenges and, at times, a degree of personal discomfort. Spiritual growth involves change and change always requires stepping out of our comfort zone. Still, the process of realizing and manifesting our divine potential is one of the greatest adventures we will ever undertake.

And where does this journey begin? It begins with the decision to become the optimal version of yourself for the glory of God and the benefit of others. It begins, my friend, with a firm commitment to excellence.

When we make a commitment to excellence, we are basically telling God and ourselves that we are finally getting serious about our spiritual development. When we firmly dedicate ourselves to become who God intended us to be, we get honest with ourselves about where we are, where we are not, and where God wants us to go. We then make a personal commitment to, with God’s help, become all that we were created to be, all that we were intended to be, and, in the final analysis, all that we truly are.

One of the most amazing aspects of the Christian walk of faith often occurs at precisely this juncture, when an individual makes a deep, heartfelt, and earnest commitment to surrender their will to Christ and follow wherever he may lead. I can’t explain it exactly, but the very act of making this kind of covenant with God puts into motion a set of divine laws and principles that seem to work miracles at times, providing exactly what is needed exactly when it is needed. The great German author Goethe explains this far better than I can:

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can – begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

To be continued………

(c) L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved

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